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Full text of "Gentiana Quinqueflora"

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Vol. /. 



tiOVBMBBR, 1875. 



JVo. 7. 



Our Object, — With a good deal of diffidence we jjresent this first eopj' of the 
Bulletia to our botanical friends. When the science of Natural History in all it# 
departments has so many al)le journals devoted to its advancement, it would ap- 
pear like presumption in us to make what may seem a useless addition to the list. 
Our aim at present, however, is by no means so lofty, but is simply to afford a con- 
venient and rapid means of coniinunieation amonj^ botanists. Our little sheet is 
intended to be devoted to botanical discoveries and observations, and it is hoped 
that botanists will make nse of it The New England States and New York are 
well supplied with such means of communication, but we do not doubt that tliere 
are many interesting finds and notes west of those States that are only waiting 
some such opportunity as tliis to be presented to the botanical world. We do not 
wish, therefore, to be eonsidei'ed as setting up ourselves against our Eastern 
friends, but rather as supplementing their good work and aiding them, as far as is 
in our power, in tlie discovery of truth, after which we are all striving. We will 
assure our friends, who desire to make use of this sheet, of a wide circulation 
among botanists of such notes as they may send us. We shall welcome notes from 
all botanists and urge them to send us at onee sucli articles as they wish published 
that they may appear in as earlj- a number as possible. The Bulletin will be pub- 
li?hed every mouth and will be enlarge ' as necessity may demand. Hoping bot- 
aiiisth will heartily approve of our undertaking and show their appreciation of our 
efforts \>y n contribiftion of notes, we leave the Bulletin in their hands. — Editok. 

Gentiana cjcikqueflora, Lam.— In my nciir neighborhood there is a steep 
hillside, facing the northwest and partly shaded by trees, where this beautiful 
gentian grows in great abundance and blooms profusely in the months of Septem- 
ber and October. As observed for yeai\s i)ast, it exhibits one feature worth}- of 
special note— its diversity in size. Many of the larger plants, more or less branch- 
ed, with branches usually short and strict, but occasionally elongated and spread- 
ing, terminated by cyniose clusters of 2-5 flowers, frequeiitly attain a height of full 
20 inches. From these it descends by every gr.idation dowji to simple dwarfs of 
scarce 2 inches, which, with their single pair of leaves and 1-2 terminal flowers, 
remind the botanist of the pretty little alpines of the genus. This diminutive 
stature cannot result from sterility of soil, which sometimes dwarfs all vegetation, 
as on the serpentine-barrens of Southeastern Pennsylvania, nor from lack of mois- 
ture, for the Lilliputians are scattered amongst the Brobdignagians in such a way 
as to show that they enjoy just as favorable conditions for development. The cause 
of their dwarfing may lie in the ftict of their later germination, or in the constitu- 
tion of the plant, or in both. At all events, the diversity should be recorded in tlie 
description of tlie species, and, for its complete representation in the herbarium, 
all the forms should be collected . We have also some other an n uals, which possess 
the same peculiarity in a marked degree. Prominent amongst them are Erigeion 
Canadense,!!., Lobelia suphilittca, L., Cumpamda Americana, L., Speeulariu perfoliate , 
A. DC. and Mimulus luteus, L. The Just is a striking example. Along the water- 



All eommimeations addressed to John M. Coulter, Hanover, Ind. 
Terms:— Subscription, $1.00 a ye<ir. Single lumbers 10 cents. 



BOTANICAL BULLETIN. 



courses, hif^Ii up in tlie Rocky Mountains, may be found specimens more than a 
foot tall, laden with flowers, and, beside them, dwarfs of an inch or two, each 
bearing a single large, yellow flower, exceeding in size all the rest of the plant. — 
PKOr. Thos. C. Pokter, Easlon, Pa. 

QuBRcr NKAR Hanovf.r, Ind.— In ni}^ botanical tramps this fall I have been very 
much attracted, and in fact, charmed by the oaks of this neighborhood. For some 
unaccountable reason these noble trees have never been satisfactorily determined. 
Many botanists have gone prowling around peeringinto every imaginable nook and 
corner for fear some diminutive little member of the vegetable kingdom may es- 
cape them, although it may be of no use to any one except a botanist. They never 
think of looking over their heads and studying the grander works of the plant 
kingdom, and of learning the names of things not only interesting to themselves 
but to every intelligent citizen in the land. I have met botanists who had on their 
tongues' ends the name of every shrub and herb, but who would have been com- 
]>elled to yield to almost any intelligent farmer's boy if asked to name the trees. 
With the aid of a botanical friend I determined to give the trees of this region such 
uu overhauling as they had never enjoyed. In the flora of .left'erson county, con- 
tained in the Keport of the Indiana State Geological Survey for 1870, five Querci 
were reported for the county. In the list for 1874 the number was increased to six. 
We are able now to repoi't with certainty nine species of the genus Quercus grow- 
ing within an hour's walk of Hanover and hope to be able to report others from 
the county. The species are Quercus alba, L., Q. maciocarpa, Mx., Q. bicolor, 
Willd., Q. Prinus, L., var. acuminata, Mx., Q. imhrlcaria, Mx., Q. coecinea, Wang., 
Q. coecinea, Wang., var. tinctoria, Gr., Q. rubra, L., Q. pahistrls, DuRoi. Q. alba is !>y 
far the most common and valuable species. Q. paluslris is used considerably for 
making clapboards and is one of the best marked species of the genus. The acorns 
are much sm.'iUer than those of any other of our species, are beautifully strijied 
with paler lines and grow in most wonderful profusion. We noticed a tree u])on 
which they were hanging in perfect clusters. It is reported that Q. macrocarpa is 
used for making shingles but I cannot vouch for the truth of this statement. — Ed. 

AsTEK Nov.h-Angli.b, L. — This large and beautiful Aster is found growing 
s[)ontaneously in this neighborhood. It sometimes attains a height of eight feet, 
showing that the conditions of soil and climate are very favorable for its develop- 
ment. I have noted two things about this species that are not mentioned in any 
<loscription I have seen. The flrst thing noticed when analyzing the flower was 
the strong, and to me, oftensi.ve odor coming from the heads, especially when 
bi'uised. I have been unable to decide what the odor most resembles, and think 
it must be swj generis. It is a little like camphor or turpentine, and probably is a 
mixture of several strong-smelling hydro-carbons. It is so characteristic that if 
a head of the plant was brought to me iu the dark I could at ouce pronounce it to 
be A. NovK-Anglice. It is a pity that in dried specimens the fragrance is lost. 
]\Iany plant odors are very characteristic, but are never mentioned because the 
plants have been described from dried specimens and the <liscoverer has made no 
note of the fact. Besides the odor of the plant just mentioned, I call to mind the 
delightful fragrance of Coreopsis tripteris, L., the heads of which exhale most de- 
cidedly the odor of mignonette. 

The second point noticed in regard to A. Nor:iv-AiijU<£, was the wilting and 
folding in of the rays after sunset. I tried to get some good specimens one even- 
ing after sunset but could not find a single head among the hundreds I saw that 
did not look hopelessly wilted. The next morning they were as bright and fresh 
as they had ever been. This is one of the finest illustrations of the so-called "sleep 
of i)lants" to be seen in this region. — Ed. 

Notes on certain species or the gknus Asplenii^m. — This genus of Filices 
figures somewhat largely here when compared witli other genera, not only in its 
number of species, and their distribution, but also, in general interest. Of the